In geology, texture or rock microstructure refers to the relationship between the materials of which a rock is composed. The broadest textural classes are crystalline (in which the components are intergrown and interlocking crystals), fragmental (in which there is an accumulation of fragments by some physical process), aphanitic (in which crystals are not visible to the unaided eye), and glassy (in which the particles are too small to be seen and amorphously arranged). The geometric aspects and relations amongst the component particles or crystals are referred to as the crystallographic texture or preferred orientation. Textures can be quantified in many ways. The most common parameter is the crystal size distribution. This creates the physical appearance or character of a rock, such as grain size, shape, arrangement, and other properties, at both the visible and microscopic scale.
Crystalline textures include phaneritic, foliated, and porphyritic. Phaneritic textures are where interlocking crystals of igneous rock are visible to the unaided eye. Foliated texture is where metamorphic rock is made of layers of materials. Porphyritic texture is one in which larger pieces (phenocrysts) are embedded in a background mass made of much finer grains.
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- Texture & Genesis of Rocks, Introductory Geology Laboratory, Christopher DiLeonardo, Ph.D., Marek Cichanski, Ph.D., Earth & Space Sciences, De Anza College
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- Essentials of Geology, 3rd Ed, Stephen Marshak